7 Galleries in Tokyo for contemporary art

The vibrant city of Tokyo houses a wide array of non-profit and commercial galleries showcasing the best of Japanese and international contemporary art. Here’s our list of seven of the best to visit.

Mori Art Museum (森美術館)

No art pilgrimage to Tokyo is complete without a visit to the venerable Mori Art Museum, which offers a cutting-edge variety of contemporary art exhibitions. The museum showcases the best of Japanese and Asian art, culture and design, with exhibitions previously held by famed artists such as Ai Weiwei and Takashi Murakami. Visitors are first greeted at the entrance by some interesting contemporary sculptures, which are very Instagram worthy.

Address: 53F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-6153
Tel: +81 3 5777 8600
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm, Wednesday to Monday; 10am – 5pm, Tuesday

Museum of Contemporary Art (東京都現代美術館)

For a comprehensive study of Japan’s contemporary art history from as far back as 1945, pay a visit to this art museum, which has a collection of over 4,800 art pieces. It also offers a well-curated collection by younger artists. The spacious atrium is ideal for large-scale art works and installations.

Address: 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0022
Tel: +81 3 5245 4111
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm, closed on Mondays

Mizuma Art Gallery (ミヅマアートギャラリー)

This is one of Tokyo’s most established art galleries since it was opened in 1994. Mizuma Art Gallery is one of the best places to discover emerging young artists. Some of the artists that the gallery represented, including Aida Makoto and Yamaguchi Akira, have gone on to become highly successful and well-respected names in the international art scene.

Address: 2F Kagura Bldg, 3-13 Ichigayatamachi Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0843
Tel: +81 3 3268 2500
Opening hours: 11am – 7pm, Tuesday to Saturday

Tomio Koyama Gallery (小山登美夫ギャラリー)

The Tomio Koyama Gallery, one of Japan’s most highly regarded art galleries, is known for representing heavyweights in the art circle, including Mika Ninagawa, Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami. The gallery’s rotating roster of exhibitions is a treat, and the curators are known for bringing in works by international artists, such as Damien Hirst and Benjamin Butler.

Address: 3-10-11, Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0051
Tel: +81 3 6434 7225
Opening hours: 11am – 7pm, Tuesday to Saturday

SCAI the Bathhouse (スカイ・ザ・バスハウス)

Located within a 200-year-old former bathhouse, this unique art gallery is located in a traditional Japanese neighbourhood dotted with beautiful wooden houses and temples. It is best known for exhibitions by avant-garde Japanese artists, including Tanori Yokoo and Mariko Mori. It has also worked with international artists, such as Anish Kapoor, to create contemporary works that are inspired by the Japanese culture.

Address: Kashiwayu-Ato, 6-1-23 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0001
Tel: +81 3 3821 1144
Opening hours: 12pm – 6pm, Tuesday to Saturday

National Art Center, Tokyo (国立新美術館)

As one of the largest exhibition spaces in Tokyo, you can be sure that exhibitions held here will leave a lasting impression. The centre hosts a fantastic line-up of forward-thinking art exhibitions, ranging from visual arts to photography and fashion. For instance, one of the highlights of the Centre’s 2016 calendar is The Work of Issey Miyake, a retrospective of the influential fashion designer’s works through the years.

Address: 7-22-2 Roppongi Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8558
Tel: +81 3 5777 8600
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; 10am –8pm, Friday

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (原美術館)

One of Tokyo’s first modern art galleries, this museum has made a name for itself by hosting pioneering exhibitions over the years. Besides a permanent collection by luminaries including Tatsuo Miyajima, Yasumasa Morimura and Nam June Paik, the space also hosts exhibitions by local and international artists. Other interesting events include video screenings and meet-the-artist sessions. Do not miss enjoying Japanese tea at the very pretty garden-view café too.

Address:  4-7-25 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 140-0001
Tel: +81 3 3445 0651
Opening hours: 11am – 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday; 11am – 8pm, Wednesday

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